Hah, that would be just my luck, as i’m finally getting half a hang of promoting myself publishing ventures at something approaching the pace it seems to take to get anyone to take your seriously online or noticed in the torrents of updates, the game would go and change from under my feet.
Being buddhistly inclined I liked a lot of what he had to say about applying mindfulness to your work in the digital sphere. I do try to do just that as much as my mind will allow. Also think I spotted some impracticalities too. Share Jim’s concern about the narrowing of focus and echo chamber effect [something he mentioned in passing in the interview].
Over time I do think they count more. But when you’re still one of many, and growing numbers of creators trying to raise awareness of our work, and have as eclectic a reader base it seems I have, I’m not sure how much liberty I have to choose to overly narrow band broadcast. I feel like on the edges of your media domain you need to have fairly fast moving streams to match the pace of the rest of the web, to draw in readers to your core presentation. I don’t post on the blog here rapidly. No way I could keep up with a even once daily rate that Warren thinks of as a lower gear, while maintaining a good level of quality of content, and keep on top of my artwork. Beyond the usual challenges of content creation being dyslexic makes the process of writing and proofing laborious.
But Facebook, mypages, and twitter, G+ to a degree too, I can post small bits of thought or just promote other people’s stuff – something I agree with Dean Haspiel about being a important and valuable role to play, not just as being a community builder but also being someone anyone cares to pay attention too as well. Rather than someone who only talks about themselves?
I suspect some aspects of the slow web Warren and Jeffrey talk about is in part the privileged cruising gear of those who’ve established themselves. For those that describes It makes a lot of sense to economize your efforts.
At this point I follow the feed-back, post more where I find I get responses and less where I don’t.
Never was all in for twitter, it’s always been a semi-automated branch of my blogs. Don’t have a phone attached to my hip so it was never practical for me and too much of a distraction from the drawing table.
For the moment I get far more attention to my work on Facebook than anywhere else. My computer is seldom far from me so when I brake to pace around, grab a coffee, or set up a show to half watch, I often check in and poke around, like or share something, post a bit of work i’m in the midst of.
I tried promoting a couple of posts on Facebook recently connected with RevolveЯ. They got a lot more views but I remain unconvinced if it helped all that much. I did notice that you have to watch it with that, need to look closely at how the options are laid out for you when you set up a promoted post. Seems like a default was to keep promoting and charging after the budget I had set was spent. Not sure what to make of that but I was not pleased to find I was getting charged again without first being asked. As is too often the case it feels like communicating is not FBs strong suit. Incidentally it’s been amusing to watch as twice as many people who’ve added me as a contact in the past 6 months, did so in the last week on Flickr post instagram TOS fiasco. All good, welcome to all. I was never on instagram so works for me.
Speaking of attention…
Having a hard time getting some key comics news sites to pick up my press for RevolveЯ. Others have, but a few of the key players are being tough nuts to crack. Another round of press needs to be done, hoping I can get more traction in the new year. Wondering if I rubbed some the wrong way along the line or something? For sure not really being part of the convention circuit has not helped. Last show I did was TCAF, and that just as a civilian. Ran into one former editor I once worked with who now blogs, it was kind of awkward, as is to happen at these hectic things, but has not replied to an email since?
Be nice to go to more shows and have more fluid relations with the comics diaspora at large, have a chance to build solid friendships in person. But my lack of funds aside, when am I supposed to make time for that and still draw my books, and do all the other shit we have to do ourselves these days eh? Would love to, but we have to have a successful book first. For that we need the book we have to get coverage so people know it’s there to order or buy. A dog and tail game.
Best is if the word gets out more virally, and becomes something the diaspora can’t ignore. If you’re reading this, do us a favor and check out the book if you have not already, mention it to a few someones, share it blog it and if you’d like to review it contact me about that, be glad to oblige. I have lots of visitors and followers these days but outside a core group not enough sharing what they find to get that fantastic fractal spreading pattern going yet. Needs more cowbell!
On the other hand and not to seem to only gripe, I have had some nice windfalls!
Making it a more entertaining experience than planned I got nailed by the flu about 6 hours before the interview, vomiting all over the place very suddenly and sending my poor Ange into a cleaning frenzy. Managed to clear out the pipes and get it together to do it all over the phone, thanks to some nice editing, I even sound totally coherent.
So that’s me for the year probably. Couple more retailers on board and some new distribution channels about to come online for RevolveЯ. I’m running behind on RevolveЯ Two right now due to last minute editorial decisions on my part, and the feeling like the slow moving soft launch is progressing well, but has not reached the sweet spot for the next Minimum Effective Dose. The next book dropping and it’s associated press releases, to help crank the series forward. Taking the time to color a story and add another to make it all that much cooler, less ignorable, and put it out in January instead of this month as I had planned originally.
Keep your eyes open for a kickstarter project from me and Mark Sable too in the new year.
As work on Dream Life book one gets done i’ll be jumping directly onto a story we have planned.
Wrestling with the layouts now of act 3. And some work on Vlad as well. Going to try to get out and walk every day, then sit and treat myself to something hot and sketch page layouts. Plan for the week . [23-27/01/12]
Been mulling over plans with Bryan and folks about what to do for Sequential’s 10th anniversary, problem for me is I’ll have less time than usual this year to give over to producing the magazine. Need to find a designer[s] and funding solutions if Sequential Pulp is going to happen or be a part of the festivities. Anyone interested in participating should drop me a line. I’ll be posting a more formal note about this on the site later in the week.
How ya been? I’ve been busy, doing shows like TCAF always take it out of me.
Takes a while to get back into the routine and catch up. I warmed up by rebuilding my home web page here, like the new look. Really converted to WP in a big way [have five sites working on the platform now] and i’m loving the themes from graphpaperpress.com [this is one with a few small mods and so is this and this]. I’ve installed wpStoreCart, working on building one now, wondering what kind of things to sell? Would love to have some feed back from you all. I’ve got posters and some books to start, anyone interested in that? What other sort of things would you be interested in?
The newest edition of Carte Blanche is up – I’m the graphic fiction editor there. For lucky #13 we are happy to present a special feature on CRISIS. There’s a lot of great stuff in the issue, including two excellent graphic fictions stories by some heavy hitters.
And from James Romberger, of ‘Seven Miles A Second’, ’2020 Visions’,
‘Bronx Kill’, and ‘Aaron and Ahmed’, we are very proud to present
a 16 page short story, called ‘Raymond’.
We had many other excellent submissions we couldn’t accept,
but i’m pleased to present a few of them on Sequential HEREinstead!
That’s two pages of my own comics and 5 other short stories!
PS: My editor In chief says we’ve not gotten enough feed back from the comics crowd yet so if you check out the site, take a second to tell carte blanche what you think about about it by filling out their short readers’ survey.
Just transferred this from my camera, it’s The Blocky Thing from Dream Life. All to aprorately as I was walking to the cafe to enjoy some AC, i was listening to this, Anime – the philosophy of Japanese animation on The Philosophers Zone [2010 repeat]. Interesting show, and relevant to the sketch by the fact that The Blocky Thing is very much influenced by the films of Hayao Miyazaki.
Getting the 3rd edition of Sequential Pulp together kept me pretty busy running up to TCAF – our special limited print edition of the Canadian comics blog Sequential. It was Available exclusively in the pulp at TCAF 2011.
Unfortuatly there was a small problem with the printing, the dimensions got miscommunicated, and the local intermediary didn’t follow through on requests to see a proof of the printed book so this was not caught before the day of the festival. So the free print edition we presented was a diminished 5.5″x8.5″ mini format zine rather than a full size 8.5″x11″ mag as planed. I was to say the least, disappointed about this. But other than a couple of the cartoonists who’s lettering was made almost illegible most people were pretty cool about it, few seemed to care. But all the same for myself and any one who might be interested, i’ve uploaded a file to magcloud and in a couple of weeks you’ll be able to buy a full sized version of the 32 page magazine at about cost for $6.50 + shipping. In the mean time though it’s also on issuu, so you can enjoy it here/there!
UPDATE: You can read my TCAF reporting on Sequential here now, along with all our other special coverage! It was a pretty great show, but FYI i have lots of prints left and would be glad to sell you some and/or my books!
Well, that clearly didn’t work! Wow, a majority, crap. No wait, better, a majority on about 40% of the vote. Damn we really need to have Preferential voting.
OK, well enough of that, life goes ON! Tomorrow after I run about picking up my last minutes, me and the lady get on the bus and head off to my old home town for the best comic festival of them all, TCAF!
I will not have a new book, but I will have art to sell, be up for doing sketches, and I’ll have a pile of cool new posters–see samples in the slide show BELLOW--and copies of the best of my published books! Dream Life vol 1, RevolveЯ One, Ghostbusters, Wonder Woman, and Therefore Repent!
This year I’ll be in the TX room, here’s a map of the main floor –>> showing where our space is and a detail shot <<– showing where to find ME, and the all others as well. Going to be fun, my first year at TCAF with the gang, looking forward to it!
SA: Do you think the future of comics lies in digital media? SS: I don’t think it’s the whole future, but I do think it’s a big part of it. The internet proper is a great entry point for new talent to stretch their legs, get feed back, and learn if they care to. And for more experienced creators it’s a good place to prove something publishers are normally wary of taking a risk on, like unconventional and maybe demanding approaches to pacing and plot. And building an initial interest in a project.
Also, I’ve solely promoted my work online as a comic artist and illustrator, since 1998 or so. And I’d say about 80% of my income has come from inquiries via that.
Then with the new incoming ‘App’ market we have something that may well offer a viable alternative to periodicals, and the problems of overhead and distribution the direct market is struggling with. It’s got a built in monetary stream so that solves that issue, and the new tablets, e-readers and net-books offer an increasingly comfortable reading form factor. Too early to say anything definitive about it but it’s looking pretty viable. Any problems with it I see are more questions of execution and problem solving, than innate obstacles. —>
And as editor at carte blanche I have a shop talk blog post today, catching non-comics readers up with the evolution of the medium over the last 10 years, and adressing the nomenclature of comics, sequential art, graphic novels and graphic fiction.
What I still think of as comics has been going through a time of great change and growth.
When I decided to dedicate most of my time to making them in high school, it was in part because I was being kicked out, and comics were something you didn’t need a degree in. In truth, there were no degrees to be had in comics. If you wanted to learn more about the medium, you studied art, writing, and film, and extrapolated from these different media. If you achieved a professional level of skill there was little worry about competition; I landed my first paying jobs at Marvel after just one serious attempt to get work in the early 1990s.
While I was developing my own skills out on the edges of the scene in the late 1980s, the then lone journal of comics, inventively titled The Comics Journal, called for our bastard medium to be taken seriously by critics, and urged creators to take what they did seriously in order to bring the standards of their work up to where they might merit that attention. —>
To answer one critique/question, “Sometimes, though, his focus on the imagery can be detrimental. I felt key details (like character names) were unnecessarily banished to the margins of the blog post. Shouldn’t this information be incorporated in the comic somehow?” – Yes, it just has not happened yet.
This is a totally fair point. As a web comic with one page a week going up, the pacing is slow enough i felt it was a good idea to add some notes. But the story was plotted for a book, where you would get to later pages where people address each other by name in a natural context as fast as you feel inclined to read the pages. It crossed my mind this could be a problem online, but I didn’t want to add cheats to the art itself, hence the notes.
I’d also say it’s actually a very story intense comic but the way i’m building it up, and with what has been posted so far, i can totally see how it would seem the story is secondary at this stage. Hopefully El Santo stays tuned long enough to see it come together. Muchas gracias for the attention Señor!
For some great tips on where to find the best comics on the web go check out his site.
Word’s out so i can squeak now, Dream Life is amongst the web comics nominated this year for the joe shuster awards!
Got some tough competition, but makes it all the more of a complement. The awards will be given this year at a public ceremony in Calgary, Alberta on the evening of Saturday, June 18th, 2011 at the Calgary Comic & Entertainment Expo which takes place June 17-19, 2011. Haven’t worked out if i can make it to the event, will be looking into it over the next while. Be nice, got a lot i’d like to do this summer, going to have to find someway to pay for it all. Here bellow is the Outstanding Web Comics Creator list of nominees, quite a few friends in there. Also my friend Kalman got a nod for his lovely cover work, and gentlemen Jeff Lemire who’s been getting a lot of good heat of late, got a few more nominations in a few categories to put under his belt. Check out the full list on the JSA site ici.
Outstanding Web Comics Creator(s) /Créateur(s) Exceptionnel de Bandes Dessinées Web
Got a bit of nice press the last 48 hours, lot of people tweeting up the comics, thanks KarlDwight and Jack to name a few instigators.
Also the guys at Robot 6 have been really supportive of Dream Life for a while now, posted a nice little thing about the start of Act 2 here.
Here’s an interview a did in November last year. Local radio show Les Mystérieux étonnants posted the clip here, I’m part of the longer post. I’ve made a short version highlighting my bit that you can watch here. As usual i’m less than happy with my ham-fisted responses, hard to be as eloquent as i’d like after talking to teen fan boys all day. My voice was pretty blown out by the time Benoit talked to me here. Slurring my words a lot. Also already was starting to feel the nasty con-bug setting in by this time, laid me up for a week after. Ug.
That’s what I get for shaking that 15 year old Rorschach’s hand.
One thing i feel like clarifying is, i’m not exactly against genre, just letting it drive the story. And the rather blatant leave little up to the imagination put it all out there way it’s written in American Comics a lot of the time. Was talking with Ange about this, we watched the new Being Human series shot here in Montreal.
A good theater friend of her’s is in it, Alison Louder, playing Josh the werewolf’s sister. We watched the BBC series pretty avidly, and comparing, the new one is good, i’m liking it though a lot of that is the familiarity, seeing my town on the tube. But you can’t help notice how much faster they are rushing along in the telling. Not taking as long to build up the personalities at all. Spelling things out much more, rather than letting time pass and you just glean things from their happening. More tell, less show than in the original.
This is what seems to happen in most Genre fiction this side of the Atlantic. Probably elsewhere too, but something that makes most of the good BBC stuff good, is their knack for not doing that as much.
And it’s avoiding that i’m most keen on with Dream Life. I want this story to play out, not be spelled out. You know? Anywho, watch the interview.
And last but not least of all, i recently started putting on an editors cap for chores at carte blanche. As such it’s my duty to inform all doodlers, The next Bi-annual deadline for submissions of graphic fiction to be published in the spring 2011 – 13th edition – of carte blanche is March 15th! You have 53 days to submit!
This is the first of a two parter, Kevin tells me the second will go up in the new year. In this part we covered mostly stuff i’m working on now, Dream Life, the rise and fall of it all, etc. We had a rambling talk via google chat, hoping some of the other stuff gets used in part two in the new year….
KD: Dream Life deals extensively with realms of the subconscious, a fact that is reflected in your fluid, shifting, often surreal approach to its art. Where did you pick up this interest in exploring the latent and manifest elements of the human psyche?
SS: It probably had something to do with my upbringing. Carl Jung was a huge interest of my father’s, and to quote one source, he was a ‘legendary acid dealer’, so the whole ‘consciousness-twisting’ thing was a pretty big part of my landscape growing up. My father died when I was really young, and there’s a whole host of ideas that he was really into that I was sort of indoctrinated in before having a chance to be conscious of that. Later in life when I started reading up on this stuff myself, it was kind of weird recognizing the stuff I read from my Dad talking about it when I was a kid.
It’s Christmas eve, and Max is running around getting ready for the holiday family trip!
Forgot to update this the last little bit, thought i’d take care of it now. Dream life is going on a short hiatus for the holiday, going to take a bit of time to make some new pages based on changed to the script i just came up with. So this posting is the last page for 2010! Bellow, i give you the page from the week before! [so as to not spoil the end of act 1]
Took a short brake to recharge the creative batteries with some pencils for Dream Life, see on the right here! >>
This is Lionel, at a lecture – the plan is to use Asemic writing, the chicken scratch of adult text in Peanuts, that morphs to binary.
Also these are some of the nicer frames i recently completed for the short.
Oh yeah, and check this out, some Ghostbusters Fans are starting to make the mark IIZ I designed for Tainted Love, Bellow is Hal, in a shot of one of the best so far that I hear he whipped up last minute for a show. Nice Job, makes me think it would be fun to do this for Halloween this year, if i had the time. There are threads here and here where people are posting their prop build shots. Check it out!